The Boston Celtics fell to the Miami Heat in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals 120-107.
Though the Heat got hot at one point and stretched the lead out to 20, Boston trimmed that down to six in the waning moments of the fourth quarter until Dwyane Wade broke the game open again.
In celebration of opening day, I’m going to share with you all a few mental notes that I take from the primetime games.
In this game, I thought that each team looked a bit rusty on the defense end. That’s pretty obvious. You can tell that by the final score. The better offensive units normally win during the opening night because of the lack of defense that gets played. It happens.
The Heat looked like the better team throughout the game. They were trailing the Celtics for a while in the first half, but then once LeBron James got going it was over.
Though James didn’t finish the game, he had 16 points and eight rebounds at the half. He was clearly the best player on the floor and he hadn’t even got going yet.
His three point shot got going as he went 2-4 from beyond the arch. James finished with 26 points in 29 minutes of play and 10 rebounds to go with that.
James didn’t play the fourth quarter because of leg cramps. That’s when Dwyane Wade took over. He ended the game with 29 points and made nine shots at the free throw line.
The Celtics looked good toward the end of the game. There was a surprise coming off of the bench in Leandro Barbosa. He ended up with 16 points and went 3-3 from beyond the arch.
Barbosa looked superb in the Celtics offense alongside Rajon Rondo. Rondo finished the game with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and seven rebounds.
The Celtics turned the ball over way too much in the early going. Then, once they began to slow the game down they shot poorly. If they could find a mix in between that they’ll be right back where they were last season.
When Rondo was on transition, he was at his best. He’s finishing much better at the rim now and taking a lot more shots. The offense is obviously his now and they need to adapt to him instead of him adapting to everyone else.
I think that the Celtics needed to attack Chris Bosh more. Bosh finished with 10 rebounds and 19 points, but he was allowed to establish a rhythm because he wasn’t attacked defensively.
There are too many pick and pop guys on Boston. There’s not one that is a very good diver. Brandon Bass is the best one and he’s bothered by size.
Chris Wilcox should’ve played more minutes. He would’ve been a much better option at attacking the rim and scoring in the paint than Garnett.
Garnett was a bit unproductive tonight. Well, more than a bit.
The Celtics are playing too much to Miami’s blueprint of stretching the floor with their center. While it is very effective, they must throw in their own wrinkles as well. They didn’t do that tonight.
Mario Chamlers and Ray Allen were very effective as a combination tonight. Chalmers had 11 assists along with eight points and Ray Allen killed Boston with 19 points and eight free throw attempts.
Allen was used off the dribble a lot tonight. It was really weird. I’m skeptical about this but if it works then it works.
Last but not least, Rashard Lewis made points. I hate him.
Be back in a few with the Lakers’ post.